Does Nordhouse Dunes have Michigan’s Best Sunrise?

Nordhouse Dunes Sunrise, photo by Shane Blood Photography

That’s the question the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area Facebook page asked Michigan in Pictures on Facebook. It’s a good question. Click over and let them know what you think!

The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area:

…is a Federally designated wilderness in Michigan’s lower peninsula and encompasses 3,450 acres of National Forest. Nordhouse Dunes is part of the Ludington Dune Ecosystem, which also includes Lake Michigan Recreation Area, and Ludington State Park. The dunes were formed 3,500 to 4,000 years ago and stand up to 140 feet high. Ludington Dune Ecosystem has the largest area of fresh water interdunal ponds in the world. The interdunal ponds, small water holes and marshes, decorate the area. Dune grass covers many of the dunes and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

The Nordhouse Dunes are interspersed with woody vegetation such as juniper, jack pine and hemlock. Plant life is varied and includes the Federally Endangered Pitcher’s Thistle. The sand beach along the lake varies from narrow to wide and is home to the Federally Endangered Piping Plover, a shore bird that nests on the ground in small cobbles.

The wilderness area is popular for hiking, camping, hunting, nature study and wildlife viewing. There are approximately 10-miles of trail that can be accessed from 2 developed trailheads at the end of Nurnberg Road and Lake Michigan Recreation Area.

View the photo bigger and head over to Shane Blood Photography on Facebook for more shots from Nordhouse Dunes.

More Michigan sunrises on Michigan in Pictures!

Manitou Morning Mirror

Manitou Islands in the morning, photo by Glen Arbor Artisans

North and South Manitou Island are part of an island chain that extends north to the Straits of Mackinac and includes the Fox Islands and Beaver Island. South Manitou Island is just over 8 square miles in land area and is about 7 miles from Glen Arbor while North Manitou Island is about 22 square miles and a little over 10 miles from Glen Arbor. More about the Manitou Islands from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

View the photo bigger, and follow Glen Arbor & Glen Arbor Artisans on Facebook for more photography from Paul!

Splash-in Sunrise: Annual Grand Marais Fly-in

Splash-in 2016, photo by Gary McCormick

June 16-18, 2017 the Grand Marais Pilots Association will host the 17th Annual Splash-in on Grand Marais Bay on behalf of the National Seaplane Pilots Association. Seaplanes from all over the US and Canada are invited to attend this three day festival with arrivals on Friday, activities and competitions throughout the day on Saturday and departures on Sunday morning. Click the link for details on events including the Water Balloon Bomb, Spot Landing, & Short Takeoff Contests!

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Gary’s Sea Planes slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Say you will

Say you will, photo by Brian Wolfe

Brian took this back in April of 2009 and shared some thoughts that I think all photographers (and people) would do well to consider:

This weekend I resolved to wake up for the dawn. With the days growing longer and the sun rising earlier, it will only get more difficult the longer I put it off. I was hoping for some brilliant cloud pattern to reflect amazing colors but like what happens so often, it was just (what I like to call) bland. This kind of killed my energy and I felt like I would rather have slept-in. Instead of turning for home, I expanded my perception of my surroundings, opened my eyes, and came up with some great stuff (I think so anyway).

View the photo background bigilicious, see more in Brian’s The Top Thirty slideshow, and definitely follow Brian on Instagram!

More Spring Wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Morning on the North Country Trail

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Hacking Site Camping Trip, February 2017-25, photo by Nathan Miller

Nathan took this photo in the Ottawa National Forest’s Trap Hills along the North Country Trail in winter.The Trail winds 4600 miles through 7 states in America’s northern heartland. It is our longest National Scenic Trail, stretching from New York to North Dakota. Michigan holds more of the North Country Trail than any other state:

Entering Michigan from Ohio the first completed segment of NCT is within the Lost Nation State Game Area near Pittsford.  The route then threads through a mix of forest and farm country and is a mix of road walks and completed segments. Off-road trail exists in Fort Custer National Cemetery (near Battle Creek), Yankee Springs State Recreation Area (near Hastings) Middleville and Barry State Game Areas.  In Lowell, hikers can walk down East Main Street and stop in at North Country Trail headquarters to purchase some official trail gear.  Heading north from Lowell, hikers will travel through two more areas with built trail before arriving at the southern boundary of the Manistee National Forest. These include the Lowell State Game Area/Fallasburg County park segment just outside of the city of Lowell and the Rogue River Game Area near Rockford.

Hikers get their first glimpse of the Northwoods in the Manistee National Forest.  Within Manistee National Forest, enjoy sandy soils that support a pine-hardwood forest and great hiking along the Manistee River Trail, which forms a great loop hike opportunity.  The NCT leaves the Manistee National Forest near the Hodenpyl Dam Pond which features a fabulous new (2009) trail along the Hodenpyl Dam Pond and Manistee River.  Continuing south of Traverse City to Kalkaska the NCT is routed through state forest land (the Pere Maruette SF) which offer a number of year round recreation opportunities.  The next jewel along the NCT is the Jordan River Pathway, which offers a scenic loop hike near Alba.  From here the trail heads towards Petoskey through the Mackinac State Forest.  North of Petoskey wonderful hiking opportunities exist in Wilderness State Park, where the trail follows the Lake Michigan shoreline. As one leaves Wilderness State Park and heads towards Mackinaw City the lights of Mackinac Bridge become visible.

…The U.P.’s prime scenery includes large lakes, old growth forests, rugged hills and the Lake Superior shoreline, all set amid some of the most remote, uninhabited country found on the North Country Trail.  From St. Ignace the trail heads through the eastern unit of the Hiawatha National Forest towards Tahquamenon Falls State Park (home to the second largest waterfall in the eastern United States).  Continuing west, the trail passes through Muskallonge Lake State Park and Lake Superior State Forest towards Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Within Pictured Rocks, enjoy the 43-mile Lakeshore Trail along the Lake Superior shore, one of the greatest hits of the entire North Country Trail.  West of Pictured Rocks the trail enters the western unit of the Hiawatha National Forest passing through public and private lands before reaching Marquette.  West of Marquette the trail passes through Presque Isle City Park, McCormick tract Wilderness, Craig Lake State Park, Copper Country State Forest, Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness and cuts through historic copper mining sites near Old Victoria.  Once entering the Ottawa National Forest segments run along the Black River canyon, towards the wild country of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The NCT leaves Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near the community of Ironwood.

Read on for more at the North Country Trail website, including maps!

View Nathan’s photo bigger and see more in his North Country Trail Camping Trip, February 2017 slideshow.

Wyandotte Waterfront Nuclear Sunrise

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Wyandotte Waterfront Nuclear Sunrise, photo by 1adamtwelve

“….when the sun comes up, I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It’s so beautiful.”
-Forrest Gump

Adam shares that this photo was captured at sunrise along Wyandotte’s waterfront while he was flirting with Mother Nature, something I think we could probably all use more of.

You can view this bigger and see more in Adam’s slideshow. One note – there are  few tasteful boudoir shots in there, so if that’s something you’d rather not see, don’t click the link!

Breakwall Sunrise in Grand Marais

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Break Wall Sunrise, photo by Gary McCormick

View Gary’s photo from February of 2012 background bigilicious, see more in his big old Grand Marais MI slideshow, and follow him for the latest at Footsore Photography on Facebook.

More from Grand Marais and more winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!